Demolition crews move in to flatten school buildings

Demolition crews move in to flatten school buildings

DEMOLITION work has started on the former Whitcliffe Mount School building.

The 100-year-old Foundation Building is yet to be pulled down though, as part of the developer’s contract to construct new school facilities.

Despite a group of campaigners petitioning to save the building last year, developer Laing O’Rourke was given the go-ahead to start demolition last Friday.

Erica Amende, secretary of the civic society, said: “Spen Valley Civic Society continues to condemn the unnecessary destruction of one of Cleckheaton’s most important buildings.

“For four years we have done everything possible to persuade the authorities to listen to local people and save the 1910 Foundation Building, to no avail.”

Work has already been completed on the school’s new teaching block and sports hall that opened last September on the site of the former Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre.

Phase two involves tearing down the old buildings to create a new car park.

The final work will result in the creation of a multi-use games area, expected to be completed in April this year.

Laing O’Rourke is carrying out the work as part of a project to replace seven schools in Yorkshire in a £150m deal.

It was announced in August that the Foundation Building, which dates back to 1910, would be knocked down.

Members of the Spen Valley Civic Society and Whitcliffe Petitioning Group gathered almost 4,000 signatures opposing the demolition, while four developers showed interest in refurbishing the building.

They were due to meet this week to decide what action could be taken now that demolition has started. The new school, which lies just to the rear of the old site, was rated “good” following an Ofsted inspection in September.

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